The fig cake saved the day. My wife, Liz, and I were somewhere among the vineyards of the Pope Valley, on the back side of Napa Valley's Vaca Range, 25 miles into the first long bike ride we had ever done, and shortly after I'd lost my only water bottle in the blazing heat. I heard Liz, pedaling behind me, yell for me to stop. I stepped off my bike, walked it into the shade of an oak tree and waited. "I'm totally fading," Liz said, pulling up. Then she added, to my immense pleasure, "I so need something to eat."
I've been trying to find things Liz likes to eat for years, mostly in Napa Valley. Her parents have a condo there, and we go up a lot on summer weekends, but I don't much like lounging around the country-club pool, and Liz doesn't much like my preferred Napa pastimes, hitting great wineries and restaurants. Recently, we took up cycling together, the first sport we've tried as a couple. And I happened across something I thought she'd enjoy: Velo Vino, a new tasting room, espresso bar and bicycle-gear shop in St. Helena, California, owned by Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, the founders of Clif and Luna Bar.
- California Wine Guide: Napa
- Michael Chiarello's and Jamey Whetsone's Insider Napa Guide
- Napa Cabernet to Drink Now, and to Cellar for Later
- Five Great Sleeper Napa Cabernets
- Hidden, Affordable Napa Valley
- Yoga Retreat for Foodies
- Pedaling Through Pinot Country: Sonoma Bike Tour
- Delicious Food to Fuel a Workout
As longtime cyclists, organic farmers and winemakers, Erickson and Crawford conceived Velo Vino as an outlet for all their passions. Customers can rent top-drawer road bikes, load up on espresso and the latest Clif Bar flavors, get expert advice on biking Napa's world-class cycling roads and even taste Clif Family wines while sampling different flavors of Gary & Kit's Gourmet Mountain Mix, new trail-mix snacks that Erickson and Crawford have created. Liz agreed the place sounded fun, so on our most recent trip we decided to check it out.